Technology in Africa

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Across Africa, technology is slowly catching up with the rest of the world. This is thanks to the innovative approaches of tech startups and investments. Along with a growing population of around 1.2 billion people, the concentration of growth will primarily happen in cities pushing the continent toward urbanization. In recent years, technological innovation has grown to contribute to the developmental progress in various countries. These include Rwanda, where a factory produced the first made-in-Africa cellphone, South Africa, where the country’s innovation in drones is peaking, and Nigeria where the country is leading in internet affordability. These are indicators of the efforts of innovative processes. However, challenges such as a lack of supportive government policies, a lack of adequate infrastructures, and a lack of electricity in most places, slow technological innovation and development. Additional roadblocks, such as a reticent investment from the U.S. in the technology development in Africa, shifts the balance of regional involvement which China is taking advantage of.

Leading Countries in the Technology Industry in Africa

In Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, and South Africa play a significant role in technological innovation. In Ethiopia, the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is fluent in the language of technology and as such has pushed for reforms in the government such as the privatization of state-owned entities. The government also has a policy of training about 70% of students in the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The country faced numerous tech initiatives in both the startup marketplace, as well as manufacturing. In Kenya, with the advent of mobile payment services, such as M-Pesa, the majority of Kenyans now have access to a mobile money account. Also, Kenya policymakers have promoted the use of digital payments. In Rwanda, the Mara Group became the first manufacturers of smartphones in Africa. Also, the country has explored the use of drones to provide medical supplies in inaccessible regions. For South Africa, similar to Rwanda, the country is leading in the use of drones, but in the mining sector. It has also made an effort to reduce its frequencies of power outages compared to other countries in Africa. Electric outages damage and slow the continent’s technological development.

Rural and Urban Electricity Access

In discussing technological advances, a key area where those changes do not match with the exact situations is the rural and urban divide when it comes to electricity access. Countries spark innovation, when at the same time, they can not go any further in terms of consumption and further advances without wide access and use of products. Rural electrification, the rural population without access to the internet, is crucial for development, even in ways other than technology. Increase in electricity access is associated with higher youth literacy rates. It also improves nursing care. Sectors such as employments/jobs especially among women, agricultural and non-agricultural activities, as well as rural health are key sectors of advances with internet access. Electrification varies across regions with Africa’s rural access to it being 14 percent versus 68 percent in urban Africa. 

From 1990 to 2010, countries like Ghana and Senegal decreased the rural and urban electricity divide by a significant margin. On the other hand, Swaziland, as of 2016, witnessed an increase in the rural and urban internet access divide; in Rwanda, the urban electricity access is largely significant compared to their counterparts; and in Uganda, the rural electrification has not been able to keep up with population increase

60 percent of the newly internet connected population is in the rural area. The African urban electrification has moved from 72 percent to 74 percent, while rural electrification has increased from 16 percent to 23 percent. With these differences, access to internet is not a possibility. Even, as “pay as you go” solar energy, as an alternative to traditional electricity access, has significantly attracted investors, it is still not within most Africans’ reach. Grid connection for example costs between $250-$2500 and mini grids, between $500-$1500 depending on the model. In Ghana, where there is less of an urban and rural electricity access divide, there are political implications of the electrifications.

Ghana experienced a rural electrification increase of 6 percent in 1990 to almost 50 percent in 2014. With the urban electrification increase from 75 percent to 85 percent, the country has undergone a significant reversal of the rural and urban divide. With the first multi-party elections in 1992, the candidate Jerry J. Rawlings of the NDC made rural electrification one of his key emphasis, and as a result Ghana saw a rapid electrification surge of 350 percent which declined to 21 percent later. Ghana’s economic advance benefitted the electrification implementations in the rural sector. In addition, in the 2000s, the country invested in different electricity infrastructures which expanded access to electricity, and internet. It expanded old large scale power stations such as the Akosombo hydropower, and the Takoradi oil plant. It also later added new facilities to the electrification grid.

Swaziland, on the other hand, experienced an increase of 13 to 21 percent from 1990 to 2010. Its urban electrification went up from 35 to 63 percent making Swaziland prone to a more urban incline. The Swaziland Electricity Company, monopolized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, was tasked to assess the feasibility of the rural electrification and the result was not beneficial to implementation. In regards to its economy, Swaziland is not able to use its income status to face rural electrification. It imports 90 percent of its electricity, and on top of that it is expensive. It will not be, like in most African countries, within everybody’s reach to a decent access to electricity without breaking the bank, and have an additional internet access later.

Uganda has not significantly provided electricity to its rural population, with an accessibility increase from 2 percent in 1990 to 5 percent in 2015 making the rural population prone to either moving to the urban places, stay in the rural area without access to electricity and technology, or even commute from the rural to the urban areas. The urban electrification has also experienced a slow growth as of 2016 with half of its population having access to the internet. In 2010, the Ugandan National Household Survey showed that as the primary electric source, electricity access has increased from 4.2 percent in 2005 to 48 percent in 2010.

Rural and Urban Internet Access

The rural and urban divide continues, not with just electrification. Internet access is also synonymous with electric access. It extends to other domains as well, such as improved economic quality and more. On a global scale, 30 to 45 percent of the working-age population is not utilized and better employed. As such, the young population migrates out of the rural to the urban areas due to better access to technology and more. Uber, Airbnb and others provide access to employment for urban dwellers. At the same time, there is not enough support from the government to engage in promotion of such jobs. Countries south of Sahara experience these types of complications. In South Africa, in 2015, local traffic officers discovered that 200 Uber drivers did not have permits and amended regulations allowing drivers to have permits in order to operate the service or vehicle. These regulatory efforts are taken by the government to still provide an oversight over the use of technology while still allowing a great deal of flexibility to workers.

In Zimbabwe, using infrastructure sharing between telecommunications may pave a significant way forward. In May 2019, Econet Wireless and NetOne, both telecommunications companies, signed agreements that in line with the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe. NetOne aims to use Econet’s footprint in an effort to extend its reach in other areas.

In South Africa, one of the country’s biggest digital content services provider, Sentech made an emphasis on the use of Sentech Connect which is supposed to bring internet accessibility to rural areas in South Africa. Sentech CEO Mlamli Booi made it clear that with access to the internet, there will be numerous benefits to schools, including the skill trainings of teachers, interactive teachings, and more. It is also beneficial to the health services in the region. The company also made its intentions clear on bringing electricity access to rural South Africa. Although internet connectivity in rural areas look promising, there are still concerns for how to get there in the first place and other abcs. With the example of Sentech, access to the internet will make rural communities prone to having access to technology.

Similar to Sentech is SeaCom which is also a telecommunications company. Its CEO emphasizes the need for telecoms to also have access to other sectors that will make it possible to bring internet to the rural areas. These areas include railways, roads, and basic infrastructure which are necessary to get to the place where internet access is most needed. Infrastructure access is another critical sector tied to technological access. Such sectors do have an impact on how electrification processes will be implemented. Even as there is a gap in technological access, there is also another gap in what type of internet access do the population has access to once they are connected to technology.

There is a divide between internet access such as 4G which vary from places to places, especially between rural and urban places. Populations are pushing governments, especially the South African’s on the other hand, to address these concerns.  Across countries south of the Sahara, 4G networks account for 7 percent of mobile connections, which the global average is 44 percent.

Data Centers and Connectivity

Similar to the tech boom that is happening in countries across Africa, a notable sector that continues to innovate is the data sector. Data services are sometimes provided by multinational companies in Africa. Without these services, access to internet would be virtually impossible. The main data centers are: Vodacom/Safaricom is a mobile communications company based in South Africa; MTN is a mobile communications company based in South Africa operating in Africa, Europe and Asia; Rack Center Nigeria is based in Nigeria; Africa Data Centers is a data service company that operates in Southern Africa, and Kenya; Teraco is based in South Africa.

Investments in data centers and connectivity are critical to the development of Africa in the technology industry because they primarily allow people to be connected. Until recently, telecommunication companies were regulated which did not allow for more internet access and reach. South Africa did not liberalize its telecommunications until 2008. And approximately 9 years later, about 60 percent of its population had access to it. Nigeria also liberalized its telecommunications sector in 2006, and as of 2017, witnessed half of its population having internet access. There is also the price of the internet traffic being high because of monopolies and also that the traffic transits across countries.

The more inland a country is, the more its access to the internet will be difficult compared to their coastal neighbors due to communications infrastructure locations. Countries such as Chad, or the DRC for example will have a more faint internet. Yet, when it comes to internet traffic, Kenya and Tanzania monopolize international transit. The monopoly has an effect on other countries, making them susceptible to spend more on internet access. Data centers built within countries can lower the extensive chain and cost. 

Kenya ranked 86th, among 217 countries, in internet servers accessibility. For every million Kenyans, there were 217 internet servers on the Kenyan territory. As it is the case with Chad or the DRC, Kenya’s internet access is dependent on the country’s proximity to the coast. In 2010, the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (an internet exchange point where internet service providers exchange internet connection), Interxion’s business partner, set up shop at the Kenyan port which at the time had about one internet server for every million Kenyan. The concentration of cables is indicative of Interxion’s impact into the market. From the company’s position in Europe, it is able to have access to the cables linking Europe to Africa.  

Tanzania’s communication sector has been privatized and permit other countries to pay high prices to have access to the internet. Most data centers are owned by Telcos, a telecommunications company, even as other countries are unable to build their own internet infrastructures.

Nigeria’s economy which was mostly driven by oil is now largely driven by technology. In September 2019, the Nigerian government said that Information and Communication Technology  (ICT) generated 15 percent of the country’s income, more than oil and gas by half. Connection access and advances have driven states to remove some of the barriers for making possible access to communications such as the right of way in some cases.

Interconnection specialist at Teraco, a data center operator in South Africa, Andrew Owens sees that business could not have thrived if the government had not liberalized its telecom sectors. Banks and even large companies in South Africa are trying to connect their computer systems to data servers. Similar patterns of connection can be witnessed with Kenya which turned a power grid that served 5 percent of the population in the mid-90s into 60 percent in 2017.

Ethiopia’s recent privatization of its telecoms, with a state-run energy sector, delivered electricity to half of its population. As of 2017, few Ethiopians had access to the internet as a result of a lack of electricity. 

There is an appreciation for progress for companies such as the South African Teraco as it has been able to navigate the uneven terrain of the technology barriers, such as internet access in South Africa. Guy Zibby, an analyst at Xalam Analytics who tracks the African data center boom, sees the scale for data centers implementations to be crucial and its role, significant. On the other hand, there is also the matter of the lack of electricity during the Covid 19 pandemic.

In the light of Covid-19, countries have additional concerns to address, for example the availability of electricity. Kenya’s professionals have to grapple with a failing power grid while working from home. South Africa has to periodically shut down its electricity for its “load shedding” program even though it is the leading country in electricity access in Africa. Improving access to electricity is necessary for sectors within economies to better perform. Investment in technology as well will similarly drive the simulation of the economies and increase development rates.

Technology Investment Status

In September 2019, EY (Ernst & Young) released the ninth edition of the Africa Attractiveness Report which found that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa remained steady. Main investors are the U.S., France and the U.K. while China and South Korea are also present. The largest investor in terms of capital is China, investing more than double the American and French investments. France has kept its investment in francophone Africa. Other partners include the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India, who are increasingly engaging with African countries and account for 34 percent of total projects and 50 percent of job and capital created. An example is South Africa, which increase of FDI account for its diverse economy. Among the largest recipients of FDI in Africa are Egypt ($12bn), Nigeria ($8bn), South Africa and Morocco ($5bn), Kenya ($2bn), Ethiopia ($7bn), Zimbabwe ($6bn), Mozambique ($2bn).

The major sources and destinations of FDIs vary by sectors. Investments in the Telecoms, Media, and Technology (TMT) comprises most of the investments in Africa and is driven by innovation to fuel development in the continent.

American investment or rather, lack of investment, has been fueled by a more reactive approach to China’s commercial, security and geopolitical presence in the region, and turned its back on the Prosper Africa and U.S. Africa Strategy. These were policy proposals made in 2018 and 2019 with an emphasis on mutually beneficial commerce between the continent and the U.S. On the other hand, in the wake of the cold war, the U.S has initiated long term development approaches, among which the Development Fund for Africa. In the past decade, economic engagement with the continent has increased, and at other times, it has plateaued and gains have been consistent. In terms of investment, in 2019, according to the U.S Census Bureau of Foreign Trade, from January to June, the total amount of U.S. trade with Africa was $31.3bn and with the Covid-19, the figure went to $12.7bn. 

As Covid-19 has affected the economic engagements, the landscape remains complicated. Even more so when it comes to Chinese and African engagement where China has been engaged with procuring Chinese firms and State Owned enterprises, such as the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, and others in Africa in domains related to the economy. South Korea, on the other hand, is also paving the way for investment in Africa which gives the U.S. the option of admitting it as a partner or not which will, or will not, possibly increase American inclination in the region depending on the U.S policies.

Under past South Korean president Roh Moo-Hyun (2003-2008), the country decided to renew its ties with the continent. As a result, it implemented the Initiative for African Development in 2006. Under current president, Moon Jae In, South Korea seeks to put an emphasis on youth, technology and entrepreneurship which are also aligned with American investments. With the increased numbers of unemployment in Africa, both Seoul and Washington have made efforts in the sector to address these concerns in the region as it is apparent with investments.

Another area of emphasis for South Korea and the U.S. concerns the development of technological expertise in Africa. In November 2019, the State Department announced that it would strengthen U.S.-African Universities partnerships which will lead to increased research, technological advances as well as job creations.

In 2018, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation also launched its Connect Africa program which was tasked to invest more than $1bn in the infrastructure, communications and value chains. Congress also passed, in October 2018, the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development (BUILD) Act which formed the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC) with a cap of $60bn for low-middle income countries. South Korea, being new to the region, has started to be slowly linked to markets.

South Korea’s visit to Africa in 2006 was the beginning of the development of ties with African countries through South Korea’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). After the Korean War, ODA was the main available resource for the country. South Korea received $12bn in ODA when it was most in need of it, which it used for military, humanitarian relief and reconstruction. Its ODA to Africa, in 2006, was summed at $39.5bn which grew more than eight-fold in 2015. The continent also experienced a surge of Korean Multinational corporations such as Samsung, Hyundai Motors, Posco Steel, LG Electronics. Durban, South Africa is home to one of Samsung’s main assembly ports. The company employs 200 people, and assembles more than 5000 Samsung TVs a day.

Samsung seeks to build assembly plants in better locations. As such, it demands tax concessions to cover for unfair imports of counterfeits products. Once granted, the company then positions itself at an unfair advantage against companies such as Apple or Chinese corporations like Huawei technologies and Xiaomi. Samsung’s plan on building a plant in Kenya shows the country’s aim at increasing the market share in the region. It gets connected to that specific market through importing its laptops, refrigerators, television sets, and printers from abroad and other goods from other plants such as the one in Durban, South Africa. The company announced its aim to double the annual revenues from the markets. Its manufacturing plants are in Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Senegal besides having support from other large centers in Africa. These market accesses enable Korean technology companies to increase their reach in the region when it comes to technology. In addition to Samsung, the African market also paves a way to another Korean Chaebol.

The Korean telecom company K-Corp has also been on its quest to bring internet access to Rwanda. To build a 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution), the Rwandan government signed a $140m deal with the company which saw between 2013 and 2016 a 20 percent increase in the population’s access to the internet. In 2018, based on its success in Rwanda, KT-Corp expressed its aim at increasing cooperation with other African countries in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

In terms of trading, imports from Africa have increased by 50 percent in 2006, and significantly from there until 2017 when the country reached a historical high from imports with Nigerian and Algerian oil making $7.1bn. South Korea is also relying on imports to meet its 98 percent fossil fuel consumption due to insufficient domestic resources. In terms of exports, the country experienced an increased in exports from $3.6bn in 2000 to $10.7bn in 2017. African countries’ contracts and partnership with Korean tech companies do have a few setbacks.

A major hindrance to the partnership between Korean companies and African countries concerns the companies’ activities. The Korean company Daewoo Logistic Corporation made a deal with Madagascar which led to mismanagements and riots. As a result, African countries became adamant to South Korea’s business ventures. They have the possibility of turning to China or continuing with it in the technology domain. China has had a more direct approach to investment and partnerships in Africa.

China is Africa’s largest economic partner. There are more than 10,000 Chinese operating firms in Africa alone. Looking at an overview of Chinese partnerships in Africa, Ethiopia and South Africa are at the center of Chinese investments. The two countries have made their national economic aims clear through specific initiatives related to China. They also participate in the Chinese Belt and Road initiative. Solid partners, other than mainly Ethiopia and South Africa, are Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania. The three countries do not enjoy the same relation as the previous two, with few Chinese firms in the countries across varying sectors due to the market ties, not explicit national aims. Angola and Zambia are China’s unbalanced partners, meaning that investment from China is not as wide as other countries. Côte d’Ivoire is new to the partnership with China and as such has experienced a small number of Chinese investment in the country. With China’s practice of bringing countries in its Belt Road Initiative, it will increase its reach in different regions.

Concerning the Belt Road Initiative, or BRI, when it was announced in 2013, it had an economic and political implication. It involves China’s investment roads, as well as infrastructure. It also includes relationships between China and other countries. In terms of smartphone companies, Hong Kong has expanded in most markets in Africa.

Tecno, a smartphone company under Hong Kong parent company Transsiont Holdings, has englobed the smartphone market in Africa, meaning it has reached most markets in the region. With a regional base in Nigeria, Tecno’s handset have a long battery life given that reliable source of electricity are not widely accessible, screens that are resistant to dust particles, a dual sim card option, and a non expensive price.

A significant move by Chinese corporations is to also build apps within its infrastructure. They are not just building the infrastructure now; they are creating apps. WeChat is among one of the apps that the country is creating. It was the domain of European or American companies. Due to the country’s move into creating apps, other companies will not be able to get along well with Chinese firms because those firms have better englobed prices.

Chinese low cost equipment has also made it possible for manufacturers to reduce the cost of making products. It made creating apps possible. These cost efficient ways allow companies to provide significant access to markets. In addition, for connectivity, 50 percent of 3G internet used by Africa is built by Huawei, another 20-30 percent is built by ZTE. Huawei also engaged in building 4G internet connectivity in the region as well. With Huawei’s 5G project implementation in Africa, it is increasing its presence on the continent, which in addition to its initiatives, such as the Belt and Road, can increase its economic partnership.

Across many areas, and sectors, China has additionally been involved in infrastructure initiatives, another safest investment venue for FDIs, and local investors. Nearly a third of the firms are in the infrastructure sector. In the manufacturing sector, it is estimated that nearly 12 percent of the production is handled by Chinese firms. The Chinese corporation Alibaba foundation has led Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) relief efforts to several African countries. It has also been in regular business as a supplier of PPE in Africa and beyond. The Chinese are also increasing their infrastructure building in Africa with China National Petroleum as the primary corporation. Other companies include the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC). Additional sectors include efforts in the healthcare. And Chinese firms have been keen on developing projects related to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Other development practices initiatives, other than in the technology sector, show China’s engagement in the region. For critical financing, The China Exim Bank most often provides options for projects and the stipulation is that China will lead it and the equipments will also from them as well.

Technology Restrictions in Africa

With internet connectivity and access, comes internet shutdown during critical times. Although this phenomenon differs from one area of the globe to another, it is linked to government practices. With the Arab Spring, where several muslim countries, such as Tunisia, Syria, Egypt and more experienced political uprisings, the use of technology crackdown was apparent and present. 

In Africa as in other places, it has a similar as well as different aspect. Countries in Africa do restrict access once there is a concern for rioting or misinformation campaigns. Most critical times also include elections where a shutdown is a possibility, or where there is an increase in the price of internet data access, and more. With these shutdowns, which at times disrupt economies, governments continue to go ahead with these practices. These actions also do not align with the current state of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity

To the Managing Partner at USAFCG and Former Ambassador of the Republic of Benin to the U.S. Omar Arouna, many countries in Africa have not yet transitioned to software equipments. It poses a security concern in the first place. In addition, in an interview with Greta Van Susteren, Ambassador Arouna said that there is a lack of security implementation when it comes to technology and cyber protection. He also adds that the frequency of breaches makes corporations working in those countries susceptible to cyber attacks. His concerns can lower the economic costs of these attacks because the cyber vulnerability costs about $3 billion to Africa.

The malicious activities are often related to attacks, spams, phishing hosts, bots, and C&C (command and control) servers. Sometimes they are connected when C&C servers communicate with bots to create a command, and bots are used to distribute spams and phishing activities. When spam has a malicious attachment with malware, once opened it creates an attack on the visitor. 

Spam incidents originating from Africa have accounted for a large number of malicious behaviors. On the one hand, Symantec has observed that monthly global spam rates, in September 2016, were at 53 percent. In terms of malware activity, there was however less activity, which accounted for 11.4 percent of the global total.

The main characteristic of an attack, on the other hand, is when the attacker gains unauthorized access to a computer or organizational network. In the Symantec reporting period of September 2016, there were 1,230,038 attack incidents that originated from Africa, among which the Anonymous open proxy activity. The attack indicates an activity where a user bypasses firewall rules to block internet contents. As per the reporting period, there has been 1,900,000 attacks that targeted Africa.

Malware is a type of software that an attacker installs to have access to a computer or system. Malware includes viruses, worms, and more. There were 2.2 million incidents originating from Africa compared to 24 million malware targeting the continent. Few governments in Africa have policies in place to address cyber criminality, while others either do not, or if they do they are faint.

Substantive and Procedural laws provide the main frameworks for addressing cyber criminality. The first refers to definitions of criminal offense conducted while the other is about securing evidence against those conducts. As of 2016, about 11 states have the two provisions in place, namely Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mauritania, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Implementing regulations may be missing. About 12 states, Algeria, Benin, Gambia, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan (before the split),  Tunisia, and Zimbabwe, have partially implemented these provisions. And the remaining countries did not have any measures in place.

Symantec made note of more than 430 million pieces of malware in 2015, with new increased pieces, up to 36 percent the next year. Due to the current IT infrastructure in Africa, the continent’s economy is affected as well as the ongoing threats.

Cyber criminals often target smartphones or direct internet access. There is also ransomware that may have an impact on the technologic areas. Scams also constitute a cyber criminality.

Discussion

Data Centers are critical for internet access. Tech innovations such as online payments, drones and cellphones are also moving African countries toward tech development. Infrastructure to deliver most of those tech developments are also critical and it is a sector where most of the investments goes. Electricity to use and apply technology in the first place is necessary. Cybersecurity breaches put companies and individuals at risk. Some government policies have a monopoly on, and/or restrict access to the internet. These are sectors that are linked to the technology situation in African countries. With a growing population, translating to a growing consumer society, countries have a myriad of concerns to address in order to make sure that they are able to face the challenges of the 21st century. 

There are few western companies such as Google and Microsoft, in Africa, whereas the majority comes from China, South Korea and other European based companies when it comes to investment in technology. China’s data centers and smart cities are spawned across the continent, notably in Nigeria ($1.8b in investment), Ethiopia ($2.4b investment), Zimbabwe ($1.8b in investment), and more. South Korea, in addition to a few Chinese companies, supported 4G internet in Kenya while western entities didn’t budge.

In terms of investment in electricity and infrastructure, about 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity. Of those countries, South Africa is leading in low frequency of electricity outages. 

Do investments in this sector, in Africa, present new ways for electricity availability?

Governments’ inclination to technology also help increase access and technology developments. It it the case with the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has made an effort to push for policies favorable to technology developments. For the cybersecurity developments and improvements, there are many countries that still need to implement policies to address those breaches. This inactivity is costly.

Many areas affect technologic development and access in Africa. It is not just about investment in the region. It is also not only a question of increasing internet access. Sectors such as the infrastructure, implementing and enforcing policies that are favorable to technology development in Africa, increasing connectivity between private and public sectors, enabling better cybersecurity practices and much more as discussed, are all part of the technological development. The United States’s lack of investment in the technology sector in Africa is critical and it is making China better positioned in the region, and in others. South Korea, on the other hand, is getting settled in Africa with a possibility of better alignment with the United States.

Additional readings:

Adereth, Maya, Ball, Eunice Baguma & Bar-Shany, Stav (2019). “To Augment Tech’s Transformation of Sub-Saharan Africa, Impact Investors Should Focus on the Startup Ecosystem.” Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Akwagyiram, Alexis (2020). “African governments team up with tech giants to fight coronavirus lies” Reuters.

AppsAfrica. “Nigeria is top funding hub for tech startups – $334.5M invested across Africa in 2018.”

Draper, Robert (2017). “How Africa’s Tech Generation Is Changing the Continent” National Geographic.

Faye, Ely Manel (2020). “Building Digital Nations” Development and Cooperation.

Jackson, Tom (2020). “Why the Global VC Community should Invest in Africa’s Technology Startups.” Disrupt Africa.

Morgan, Richard (2019). “Rwanda is Bringing Tech Buzz to Africa.” Fortune.

Raikundalia, Sheena (2017). “Technovation: Can Tech Entrepreneurs Solve Africa’s Development Challenges” Inclusive Business.

Signé, Larry & Leke Acha (2019). “Spotlighting Opportunities for Business in Africa and Strategies to Succeed in the World’s Next Big Growth Market.” Brookings.

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